Cost of living: Vegetable, iceberg lettuce prices finally expected to drop

Cost of living: Vegetable, iceberg lettuce prices finally expected to drop

There is finally some good news for your grocery bill, with the price of many vegetables expected to drop back to regular prices.

The change comes as growers begin to report that they are back on track with their crops after flooding earlier in the year devastated crops in NSW and Queensland, leaving empty shelves in supermarkets as well as fast food stores such as KFC having to substitute lettuce for cabbage in their burgers.

speaking to the ABCMulgowie Yowie Salads director Shannon Moss said the price of vegetables – such as iceberg lettuce which peaked at around $12 a head at the height of the crisis – have remained high for so long because farmers essentially had to start from scratch.

“You have to remember a seedling in a nursery takes about four to six weeks to grow, then it’s another eight weeks in the ground to grow lettuce,” he said.

“So you’re looking at three to four months to grow any kind of lettuce.”

And while the industry still faces challenges caused by labor shortages, high fuel costs and fertilizer costs, the better weather has at least helped even out supply issues.

Mr Moss says he’s now back in the swing of things, producing about 30,000 cos lettuces a week which get sent out to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

“We’ve had nice weather where a lot of growers have got stock coming on,” Mr Moss said.

But while price drops are coming, Toowoomba-based greengrocer Bevan Betros warned people not to expect them to come down immediately.

“I don’t think they’ll get much cheaper just for the next week or two,” he told ABC. “They’ll get back down as the warm weather comes on, as we get into spring.

“We should be getting down under $2 again, hopefully in September.”

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